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Better Bilt Windows?


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Bill's Forum Posts: 64
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By Bill in Callahan, FL on 2/21/2006


Dave commented on the Better Bilt windows and someone else commented that they are not available at HD anymore. My Lowe's has them and I am pretty sure my HD has them. I checked a few prices today and a 2/8x5/0 double pane is $103, and about $15 for Low-E, another $12 for argon, and $70 if you need tempered. $118 for a Low-E window of that size is pretty good I thought. Any thought on the argon, is it really worth it?

Bill


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By Jason in Orlando, FL on 3/1/2006


Bill,

If you are in Florida then argon is not so useful. It is mostly for cold weather climate insulation. A better choice would be to get a vinyl window instead of aluminum. The heat transfer would be minimal. That's a better cost upgrade than argon in Florida.

HD may have BB windows in stock, but they are discontinued through HD. They now exclusively sell American Craftsman. At least in Orlando.

Jason


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By Kristy in Saint Lucie, FL on 4/5/2006


So many window companies, so little time!

I've spent the last few days researching the many different windows mentioned within this forum. I believe Jason is right... it's amazing that the so-called professionals know so little about the product they are selling. It gets very frustrating.

Anyway, my first question: Jason, you responded to my post in regards to PGT.  After I looked at their website pgtindustries.com/Products/Aluminum and compared the U-Factor and SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) HD's to American Craftsman, I noticed a huge discrepancy between PGT and HD's American Craftsman. It seems to be so big, I wonder if I'm not understanding it correctly.

My second question: I've now come across the Simonton vinyl window: simonton.com. They seem to be a decent window by the looks of the website. I just need to get in contact with a distributor for pricing.

I noticed that David mentioned the importance of intercept spacing/"warm edge technology". This company mentions the use of a "Super Spacer". Could someone clue me in to what that is?

Thank you,

Kristy


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By Kristy in Saint Lucie, FL on 4/7/2006


I was able to get some prices for two different windows. I wanted to see how the American Craftsman prices compare to the prices others received.

American Craftsman 8500 series Vinyl: 25"x50", Double Hung, Tempered Glass, Low-E, No Grilles = $251

AmCraft 770 Series Aluminum: Approx same size, Single Hung = $155

Home Depot charges $185 per window for installation plus a $200 permit fee??? The associate said HD now requires this to protect themselves, he's not sure if it is just countywide or for all stores.

Simonton: I found a small company in my area that was very helpful. He said if a window is 101" United Inches or less the window will run about $500, which includes install. We did not speak about exact numbers. I did reach a company called Bradco, whose window department is located in Melbourne. A man named Mark Scruggs (very helpful) quoted an exact price. I had him quote the same window as I did at Home Depot to try to get a close comparison.

Simonton Reflections Series: 36"x52", Double, Low-E Argon, Tint, No Grilles = $363

Simonton Profinish Series: Same window specs, $297.

I expected the price difference between American and Simonton to be much more. I can say that my parents who live inland in Okeechobee County have had Simonton windows for about 9 years now (I don't know which series). They haven't had the first problem with them, and highly recommend them. If I were to choose, I think I would go with Simonton for the small added cost simply because I know someone who has had them for a while.

I'm just so leery about Home Depot. Is it just simply crazy to go vinyl at all? ROI? Aluminum is really much more cost effective.  

I just want to get anyone's thoughts or comments out there. I have learned so much from this forum and I really value all of your opinions. I believe you have helped to really transform our new project into something really spectacular.

Thank you!


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By Jason in Orlando, FL on 4/7/2006


Kristy-

I have seen Simonton windows before, but only at the IBS in Orlando over the past two years. They had a very impressive floor display set up and the windows look very nice.

Depending on what type of window you chose, SH, DH, FG, etc., you will want to compare them to each other. I know American Craftsman are of good quality because I have a family member who used them to remodel his house in Orlando, Florida over two years ago. They have been through both hurricane seasons with no protection from the wind gusts. We installed them ourselves.

They still look brand new and there have been no issues. They have a limited lifetime warranty, also. I will not stand here and tell you they are better than another window, but I do know they are quality.

For us, and them... vinyl was the obvious choice. More so for looks and longevity than energy savings. Aluminums are cheaper, but we just did not feel that the cost savings on these would look as nice with the way we are building this home. Personal preference is all that separated the two for us. It came down to looks!

We are however using Aluminum Sliding Glass Doors (SGD) instead of vinyl. This one was due to cost. Ours are 8' tall. The cheapest vinyl we could find was about $1,700 and the same size aluminum with the same glass specs was $400. To us that was just stupid money to spend on one door, and we need a few!

-Jason


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By Betty in Orlando, FL on 4/7/2006


Hi Kristy,

I had HD price out the single hung, Series 2100, Low-E with grills for vinyl and aluminum, and cost wise, they were quite close if you go with the standard sizes. If you go with the half-circle or geometric style windows, then aluminum would be much cheaper. I was thinking of using all vinyl except for the half-circle/geometric shapes, then I would go with the aluminum. I checked with the county that I am going to build in, and they said that was allowed. As for quality, I know of someone who has done window replacements for years, and he recommends American Craftsman.


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By Kristy in Saint Lucie, FL on 5/20/2006


Another window question... In our previous homes we've always had glass block windows in our master baths over our Roman tub. Does anyone know the energy efficiency or lack thereof with these windows? Or any suggestions for something better in the master bath areas?


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By Betty in Orlando, FL on 5/21/2006


Jason,

Can you tell us where you purchased the 8' tall sliding glass doors, and what brand? $400 is a good price.

Thanks.


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By John in Lake City, FL on 2/9/2007


Lisa,

I don't know if you tried Louis Reeper for windows. He got mine for me and installed them. I believe the price was about $200 per 3050 window installed. This was for vinyl single-hung insulated windows. You can email me and I'll give you his number.  He is in Groveland.

John


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By Phillip in Tampa, FL on 2/12/2007


My wife and I priced French doors EVERYWHERE as we have five pairs on our exterior. We wanted Low-E, fiberglass construction, and 12-lite 6/0x8/0 smooth finish doors.

The best price we found was the Masonite at Home Depot, at about $1,100 per pair. A close second, and the option we chose, was Therma-Tru at about $1,200 at 84 Lumber (since we got our Better Bilt windows from them and they are installing both for us).

8/0 exterior French doors aren't cheap, let me tell you. The 6/8 are significantly cheaper, and steel will save you a lot if you don't mind the long-term issues.

Phillip


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